Graphic designer Ksenia Podgornaya makes and sells these nifty Polaroid camera greeting cards that feature an original watercolor illustration printed on 100lb satin paper. Your message or drawing to a friend goes on a blank white “photo” that sticks out of the bottom. Each set comes with 5 cards and costs $4 over in Podgornaya’s Etsy store. You can also try your hand at making the card from scratch if you have some free time!
If you think about it, there are many parallels between Apple and Polaroid: both companies introduced innovative products that redefined markets in their time, both were founded by college dropouts, and both emphasized design and usability in their products. What you might not know is that it’s not a coincidence. Christopher Bonanos wrote a fascinating article for the New York Times on how Steve Jobs idolized Polaroid founder Edwin Land and modeled his career after Land’s:
The two men met at least twice. John Sculley, the Apple C.E.O. who eventually clashed with Jobs, was there for one meeting, when Jobs made a pilgrimage to Land’s labs in Cambridge, Mass., and wrote in his autobiography that both men described a singular experience: “Dr. Land was saying: ‘I could see what the Polaroid camera should be. It was just as real to me as if it was sitting in front of me, before I had ever built one.’ And Steve said: ‘Yeah, that’s exactly the way I saw the Macintosh.’ He said, If I asked someone who had only used a personal calculator what a Macintosh should be like, they couldn’t have told me. There was no way to do consumer research on it, so I had to go and create it and then show it to people and say, ‘Now what do you think?’”
The worldview he was describing perfectly echoed Land’s: “Market research is what you do when your product isn’t any good.”
Both men were also kicked out of the companies they built, but that’s where the stories differ. Jobs returned to Apple a decade later and his company went on to become the world’s largest tech firm, while Land died a decade later and his company has filed for bankruptcy twice since 2001.
Poladarium is a cool tear-off calendar that’s great for Polaroid enthusiasts looking for daily inspiration:
Every day this calendar reveals a new Polaroid photo, each with its own little story. In this way, you will discover little jewels from both well-known photographers and newcomers throughout the whole year. On the front of each calendar page there is a Polaroid, on the back there is a short description of the background to the photo and information about the photographer.
Next time you’re on vacation and find yourself without a camera, try checking the mini-bar in your hotel room. Ace Hotel has announced that the mini-bar in each of their guest rooms will be stock with a refurbished Polaroid camera and limited edition packs of Ace Hotel branded Impossible Project B&W instant film. If you don’t plan on staying at any of their hotels, you can also purchase the branded kits through their website for $150 each.
Want to see how instant film for Polaroid cameras is made? How It’s Made recently paid a visit to The Impossible Project‘s factory in the Netherlands (purchased from Polaroid a few years ago) to give us a neat behind-the-scenes look at the processes that go into making the popular film.
“Don’t undertake a project,” an oft-quoted Land maxim goes, “unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.” The SX-70 was both.
Did you know that “SX-70″ was actually the codeword used by Land a quarter century before the SX-70 camera for his first instant film camera project? It was his 70th Special eXperiment (Land was a Harvard dropout and prolific inventor, inventing the first synthetic material capable of polarizing light when he was just 19-years-old!)
It’s a pretty lengthy piece, but a must-read for any Polaroid lover.